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The CPSO’s Consultation on Telemedicine: Getting #hcsmca’s feedback on the new draft policy

July 10, 2014

By The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (@cpso_ca)

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) recently released a new draft version of its Telemedicine policy for external consultation and is looking to the #hcsmca community to provide feedback on it. The draft policy sets out the CPSO’s expectations of physicians who practise telemedicine. Given the evolution of technology and the increased use of telemedicine in diverse practice settings, the draft policy contains a number of new or revised expectations to ensure it is clear, up-to-date and comprehensive.


The CPSO is committed to ensuring that the draft policy reflects current practice issues, embodies the values and duties of medical professionalism, and is consistent with the CPSO’s mandate to protect the public. But in order to do this, we need to gather opinions and insights from a wide variety of interested parties. That’s where #hcsmca comes in. Since telemedicine falls under the broader topic of information communications technology, we know it is of particular interest to this community – as was demonstrated by a number of telemedicine-related comments that arose during the June 18 discussion “Online vs. In-Person Patient Support Services.”

We welcome any and all comments on our draft Telemedicine policy. You can read the draft policy online and review our Telemedicine consultation page, which includes information about the consultation and how to submit your long form comments.

On Wednesday, July 16th, let’s examine the following topics during the #hcsmca chat:

  • T1: Do you think the same expectations should apply to telemedicine as they would to care provided in-person?
  • T2: If the doc you are seeing via telemedicine is physically located in another province/country, would you want to know?
  • T3: Would you be concerned about the security of your personal health info being transmitted via telemedicine?

Read the transcript of July 16th #hcsmca chat.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2014 10:59 am

    Reblogged this on the Front Door to Healthcare. and commented:
    Telemedicine, in its various forms, is coming. It is good to see our regulatory bodies being proactive and tackling this new emerging field, instead of waiting in the sidelines for too long.

    However, coming to a consensus on exact policies and regulatory rules might prove to be extremely difficult; we’ve already explored one potential form of telemedicine in a previous post ( and it’s inherent problems.

    We have to start somewhere, but let’s hope there will be mechanisms built into any policy to allow for continued modification in reaction to what be certainly be an ever changing field.


  2. July 15, 2014 2:31 pm

    We received a question about a list of substantive change we’ve made in the new draft of the telemedicine policy compared to the current version. Here are some of the key revisions:

    • The CPSO’s general position on the use of telemedicine has been updated. Instead of stating in the introduction that the value of telemedicine is limited to increasing access to care (as was included in the 2007 policy), the draft policy now states that telemedicine benefits all by improving access, as well as increasing efficiencies in the delivery of care.
    • The definition of telemedicine has been updated.
    • The draft policy now clarifies that a physician-patient relationship can be established via telemedicine in the same circumstances as when the relationship is established in-person.
    • The draft policy now specifies the conditions for the appropriate use of telemedicine (see lines 77-111).
    • A new expectation was added for CPSO members who refer patients to out-of-province physicians. Before referring patients to out-of-province physicians, CPSO members must take reasonable steps to assure themselves that the referral is appropriate (also see lines 150-153).
    • New expectations for non-CPSO members were added (see lines 165-169).


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